“The biggest benefit of TrueLook is project team and executive-level visibility into real-time jobsite progress, regardless of a user’s location, and the Procore integration drives daily engagement.”– Timothy Lewis , Senior Project Manager and Asheville Office Director
Harper General Contractors
- Provide project visibility and transparency for teams and stakeholders
- Enable seamless access to TrueLook video and photos from any location
- Increase engagement with the TrueLook application across the organization
- Enabled real-time visibility with high-quality jobsite visuals, accessible anywhere
- Saved time and boosted productivity with 1-click access to TrueLook within Procore
- Enhanced stakeholder engagement and collaboration with a simplified workflow
For Timothy Lewis, Senior Project Manager and Asheville Office Director at Harper General Contractors, every day presents new challenges. “I really like hard problems that require creative solutions,” he said. “My goal is to keep production and team morale high while we tackle any issues that arise across our numerous projects.”
But creative problem-solving requires insight, which is sometimes hard to come by when jobs are scattered geographically or travel restrictions prevent on-site visits.
A full-service general contracting and construction management firm that’s been serving South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee for the past 70 years, Harper relies on TrueLook cameras to provide round-the-clock visibility into all of its projects. “We have 5-10 cameras scattered throughout the company on different projects,” said Lewis. “We use one or two on every major project we undertake.”
Lewis and his team use multiple applications to track and manage construction projects, and toggling between them can be laborious and time-consuming. When Lewis heard how the Procore Embedded Experience enables rapid access to various tools from within the Procore interface, he knew that TrueLook was a critical solution to embed.
TrueLook is a Core Tool in Harper’s Tech Stack
Lewis’s team started using TrueLook cameras in 2012 to provide remote project visibility to teams and stakeholders. Being able to see and understand the status of a project in real-time from anywhere is his favorite TrueLook feature. “My role puts me in a different office chair or jobsite on an hourly basis, so being able to transition and keep pace with my larger projects is extremely important,” he said.
Lewis explained that stakeholders on Harper’s projects can sometimes be geographically distributed — even living as far away as London. “I’m on a Zoom meeting every day, collaborating with clients and other stakeholders, so having a tool like TrueLook is critical to our productivity,” he said.
Transparent communication with clients and other stakeholders is also a driving factor for using TrueLook. “Clients are spending millions of dollars, and it’s important that they can see their money at work,” Lewis said. “With TrueLook, everyone has daily access to high-quality visuals, without having to travel to the various jobsites.”
Harper’s executive teams review the TrueLook cameras daily, and the equipment division uses TrueLook to check on rentals and provide added protection for deterring theft. “The cameras alert them to any major events that require their involvement, and they can quickly have boots on the ground to support the project teams,” said Lewis.
TrueLook cameras also help justify delays or scope changes, when unforeseen circumstances occur. “Pictures answer thousands of questions in seconds,” he said. “You don’t have to tell the story, you can show people the problem, for example, if there’s a steep slope that makes using large machinery challenging, or a stormwater box blocking construction. Having a picture you can point to clears up confusion and makes it easier and faster to make informed decisions.”
Procore Users Wanted a Streamlined Workflow
The only issue with using TrueLook was that it was a separate application from Procore, which all 270+ employees at Harper have been using for more than five years. “Our labor force keeps track of their timecards in Procore, project managers and superintendents use the full suite of products to manage projects, and our executive team uses it every day to manage risk,” Lewis said.
Yet to access the TrueLook cameras, users would have to leave Procore to log in with a separate link. “Searching for the link was a frustrating process for some users and reduced engagement with the TrueLook application, which is essential to effective collaboration and decision-making.”
TrueLook suggested Lewis take the Procore Embedded Experience for a spin — and he did. “Since our users spend time in Procore weekly looking at drawings or reviewing submittals, I knew it would be much easier if the application was embedded in the Procore platform,” he said.
Procore’s Embedded Experience Provides 1-Click Access to TrueLook
Procore’s Embedded Experience makes the entire TrueLook application available inside the Procore interface, providing a richer, more streamlined workflow. Users save time and collaborate more efficiently with rapid access to jobsite photos and videos, as well as all of TrueLook’s advanced features.
As an embedded tool, TrueLook provides stakeholders instant visibility. No time is wasted navigating to the TrueLook application, and users can leverage it along side all of Procore’s native capabilities. “I really didn’t think having TrueLook embedded in Procore would be much different than accessing it from the Home screen link we had set up, but I was wrong,” said Lewis. “Now I can navigate to the cameras the same way I would to Procore’s drawing or RFI tools. That’s a huge shift in the user mindset, in that it’s not an ancillary product, but a core function of Procore.”
Increased Engagement on Day One
The decision to move forward with the Embedded Experience immediately enhanced stakeholder engagement. “I saw increased engagement with TrueLook on day one,” said Lewis. “I was on a remote work session with my VP of Operations, and his ability to launch TrueLook within Procore got the conversation flowing quickly. We didn’t have to wait for the technology or search for a link — it just opened immediately, and we were able to have a meaningful conversation that helped everyone get on the same page and move our project forward.”
The integration has been particularly helpful for facilitating remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic. “I can be working in my home office, and still add value to my project team,” said Lewis. “It allows us to stay on-schedule and keep our trade partners on-scope, so projects progress as planned.” Otherwise, he said, projects could be stalled for weeks. “Some situations require multiple stakeholders to have immediate conversations, and you can’t wait days or weeks,” he said. “With TrueLook embedded in Procore, everyone has the flexibility to easily access the camera visuals wherever they are — in their home oce across town or across the country — and collaborate effectively.”
This capability will be just as important in a post-pandemic world, Lewis said, because it’s rarely possible to have all stakeholders on the physical jobsite at the same time. “The biggest benefit of Truelook is project team and executive-level visibility into real-time jobsite progress, regardless of a user’s location, and the Procore integration drives daily engagement.”
Better Visibility, Long-Term Savings
Lewis expects significant long-term benefits as his teams continue to access TrueLook through the Procore Embedded Experience. “The enhanced engagement that the integration provides means less time spent on the road and more visibility into what’s happening at the jobsite,” he said. “There’s a real cost and time savings to be had, not to mention reduced risk from being able to take action immediately to mitigate issues.”
Currently, TrueLook is the only application Harper uses via Procore’s Embedded Experience, but Lewis expects to embed one or two more tools over the next couple of years. “We are very picky about our technology stack, and minimizing complexity keeps it simple for our project teams to operate at a high level and not struggle with technology,” Lewis said. “TrueLook is more than a vendor — they’re a trusted technology partner, providing tools essential to running our projects and delivering exceptional service to our clients.”